Ellen (ennienyc) wrote,

Do all actors smoke?

Entertainment Weekly, June 29/July 6, 2007: "My life's got to be flawless," [Shia] LaBeouf says, firing up a Parliament. "It's pretty simple when you think about it: Just don't f--- up."

Shia LaBeouf is a fine young actor. Given those Parliaments, his life is not flawless.

I read a lot of celebrity gossip. Time after time (at least when a zealous publicist isn't controlling every move), the subject picks up a cigarette. It seems like all actors smoke.

As an ex-statistician and actuary, I wanted to see if there was data showing that the percentage of actors who smoke is higher than the percentage of regular people who smoke. I used to save pages from articles depicting or describing smoking celebs. One day I looked at the pile and realized it didn't prove anything in any scientific way, and threw everything out.

Even with the resources of the Internet, I have not been able to find data supporting my belief, or any extensive data specifically on celebrity smoking. In a 2000 CDC survey, "writers, artists, entertainers and athletes" had a smoking prevalence of only 18.6%, LOWER than the entire population's 25%. However, this subgroup only numbered 343 out of a total of 20,094 surveyed, and entertainers were mixed with athletes who might be expected to be in training and not likely to smoke.

This list covers female celebs, but is not definitive and focuses more on movie or TV appearances.

Maybe I don't need to prove anything, and should just enjoy watching these people's work and not worry what they do in their private lives.

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